In addition to giving a good indication of your physical fitness, your resting heart rate can also help you detect health problems early on. According to the American Heart Association, a low or high resting heart rate can trigger dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting, and result in serious conditions, such as heart failure, chest pain or high blood pressure. To determine where your health is at, learn how to accurately measure your resting heart rate.
Take your pulse in the morning, right after waking up. This is when stressors are at a minimum and you can get the most accurate reading.
Search for an artery that clearly allows you to feel your pulse. The inside of your wrist and the side of your neck right next to your Adam’s apple are some areas where arteries run close to the skin, making it easy to detect a pulse.
Place the tips of your middle and index fingers on the artery and lightly press down so you clearly feel your pulse.
Look at the clock and count the beats of your heart for a full minute. If easier, count your heart beat for 30 seconds and multiply the number by two, or count your heart beat for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6.
Write down the number of beats on a piece of paper and take your pulse again the following morning and the morning thereafter. Although you can go by the initial measurement of your heartbeat, measuring your pulse over three days, gives a more accurate result.
Add up the pulse measurements for the three days, and divide the total by three to get your average resting heart rate.
A normal adult heart rate can range anywhere from 60 to 80 beats per minute. If you’re very athletic, this number might be range anywhere from 35 to 50 beats per minute.
Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is abnormally low or high.
American Heart Association: Tachycardia – Fast Heart Rate
American Heart Association: Bradycardia – Slow Heart Rate
HealthStatus: Your Heart Rate Is Telling You More Than You Know